tv MSNBC News Live MSNBC February 27, 2010 10:00am-11:00am EST
coming into us here at msnbc world headquarters. good morning, i'm alex witt, live here on the east coast. it is high noon in santiago, chile. we've been following this breaking news all morning. new information is coming into us by the minute. here is what we know right now. the massive quake in chile sent waves across the pacific ocean. that has hawaii bracing for a potentially damaging tsunami. the pacific tsunami warning center issued its highest alert. first waves are expected to arrive about 11:19 a.m. local time, a little more than six hours from now video is coming in of chile's president in a helicopter above the disaster zone in concepcion. the death toll stands at 32, but that number is expected to rise. president bachelet calls it a state of catastrophe.
traffic lights are down all over the place, but she is urging everyone to remain calm. michelle kosinksi joins me live. good morning. >> reporter: it was good to see the president up in the helicopter in those pictures. she had been talking about doing that early this morning and wanting to get a bet are assessment how broad the area of damage might be. to give you a sense of the land there, this earthquake that struck about 3:30 in the morning chile time was the strongest earthquake in 50 years there. that is an incredibly seismically active country. it was 8.8 magnitude, said to be a thousand times greater in force than the earthquake that hit haiti a month ago. it tossed cars around highways, collapsed some highways. we know that. some bridges are down. buildings collapsed, sending people out panicking in the streets. since that earthquake hit in the middle of the night, at least 15 other aftershocks, some quite
powerful, had been recorded by the u.s. geological survey. it's a time now to look at the areas of damage. that's what officials are trying to do. where the epicenter was, the city of concepcion is about 70 miles away from there. that had serious damage we are seeing now. santiago, the capital, is 200 miles away. we seem to be looking at the same types of damage. some of it quite severe. the death toll now is at 82, alex. >> it is, indeed. some of the most severe reporting in terms of damage comes from the old part of the capital city of santiago, the historic area. i was told by another correspondent on the ground it is about a five-block radius. that suffered tremendous damage. i know you are familiar with the building codes and difference between those in historic times and those since that magnitude 5.9 earthquake in 19600 where they learned to shore things up.
>> reporter: right. chile has been economically successful. over the last decades they had the money to react to the many, many earthquakes they experienced. they beefed up their building codes starting in the 1920s. when you look at the history, every time they had a sizable earthquake the government has taken more steps to put more regulations on biddings since then. people you talked to down there, they seem confident in their building codes, and that modern buildings are used as an example by some scientists as successful ways to combat the loss of life and damage you see after an earthquake. they had many. that said, an earthquake this powerful, it's hard to predict in any instance like this the level of damage you'll see and the loss of life. there are so many factors at play. the largest earthquake ever recorded on this planet was in 1960 in chile. it killed about 1,600 people. there is a 7.8 magnitude also in
chile in 2005. the death toll was 11. of course the earthquake we saw in haiti a month ago, a 7.0 claimed the lives of nearly 300,000 people, which is an estimate. it's tough to compare and it's tough to predict. chile right now is trying to assess. it's been several hours since it struck. it hit in the middle of the night, so it took time to get a grip on what the areas affected were. they are still doing that now, alex. >> right. to go through the death toll, 82 people confirmed dead. 34 from that male region. it is a millionairia. it would be like a congressional district, but much larger between concepcion and santiago. 14 reported dead from the vivo area and the rest from the concepcion region. the point has been made with people e-mailing with me and you as well as others, it is quite
remarkable that the death toll has not gone up more in daylight. an anchor at telemundo said there are a number of villages in the andes, and those are areas yet to be heard from. there is no cell phone connection there at this point, power has been down. so this number may jump considerably once they get a better grasp on the full reaches. it is quite remarkable that the death toll stands at 82 despite this magnitude of a quake. >> reporter: it's true. that nicole brown simpson unfortunately expected to rise. again, there is the unknown. we know in some of these areas around the mountains towns are built up into the hills. that could be really the effect we see later. there could be a lot of devastation in some areas we haven't begun to see.
pictures from or to hear reports from. nobody wants to be pessimistic about this, and it is great that the building codes have been so stringent and monitored since the early 1900s, but it does remain to be seen. nobody really wants to put a generalization on it at this point. >> okay. michelle kosinksi in london, thank you for staying with us. joining me on the phone is randy bolden from the u.s. geological survey. good morning to you. >> good morning. >> let's get this 8.8 in perspective. there are those that suggested 500 to 900 times the magnitude of the quake which devastated haiti. that one ranked as a 7.0. can you put this in perspective? >> well, if you take an earthquake the size of haiti, it's 7.0, and you compare it to say an 8.0, the 8.0 would be 32
times larger than the 7.0. it's an exponential factor. if you go up another number in magnitude that becomes squared. it's quite a strong quake in comparison, actually. >> it certainly is. what are your biggest concerns, randy, from an earthquake like this? given it's signatured in chile, an area all too familiar with earthquakes and subsequently has a building cold that is up to pretty high standards, are you worried about deaths as a result of damage to buildings and people being hit by debris or are you worried about tsunami effects that would extend really across the pacific region? >> well, we don't work the tsunami warnings from this particular location. that is handled by the pacific tsunami warning center. i think our immediate concern is to try to locate and determine
the magnitudes on the myriad of aftershocks that are occurring in the region around this particular quake. we expect there to be significant aftershocks. they'll be ongoing for weeks, if not months. that could affect things like some of the rescue and relief efforts, that sort of thing. >> one of those aftershocks today, randy, registered a 6.9? >> yes. >> that in itself is a huge quake. >> that's correct. and there have been at least five aftershocks greater than magnitude six thus far, and we are getting quite a number of them that are above 5.0. each and every one of those would be felt by the people in that area. >> randy, is there any silver lining to a quake like this? at least having released whatever pressure it was that was felt between these tectonic
plates, at least this will stave off another earthquake for any definitive period of time? >> not necessarily. usually an earthquake of this size will probably be the largest event of the ones that are occurring in this particular area. the aftershocks, as a rule, are generally somewhat diminished in magnitude from this one, however, this particular geological trend along the west coast of chile, bolivia and all of south america, like you were mentioning, has a long history of large, damaging earthquakes. that is going to definitely continue. >> all right. randy baldwin from the u.s. geological survey, thank you for your time here on msnbc saturday. >> you're welcome. i want to go to nbc meteorologist ginger zee who will bring us up to date on what this means.
>> you hear numbers and we don't know what that means. aftershocks and a 6.9 category is huge. here is what you feel. obviously the earthquake was a great one. it's off the scale we have. even that aftershock you spoke of right on the line of another major earthquake. it's almost a 7.0. destruction within 100 kilometers i what you would feel with that 6.9 aftertremor. that is not even a tremor. it would be another earthquake. these continue then after. you've been talking about that throughout the morning. even when you go down in the numbers, you can feel it. >> look at the 6.9 they felt, early destruction within 100 kilometers. that is nothing to sneeze out there. ginger zee, thank you very much. still ahead, more on the chile quake including the tsunami warnings issued for hawaii. more how people are digging out. whoa, my cut's still there. mine too. my cut's all better. [ female announcer ] 'cause sara's mom
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people to stay off the roads. at least 82 people have been killed. the death toll is expected to rise as they get out into the rural areas in the surrounding region and find out what damage assessments are being done there. there are reports of a tsunami rolling across the pacific. hawaii is bracing for that right now. people waking up in hawaii about 45 minutes will awaken to the sound of tsunami warning sirens. that will happen about 45 minutes from now. we are getting word from the white house. this came from robert gibbs who writes, "we are closely monitoring the situation, including the potential for tsunami. our thoughts and prayers are for people with chicago and we stand ready to help in this hour of need." that coming from the white house. news of the earthquake spread quickly, thanks to the internet. christina brown has been monitoring the news off the chile on the web. >> amazing how people are sharing their thoughts all over the web. people in chile, argentina and even in hawaii.
they are going online via twitter and e-mail to let us and the world know what is going on. jose cruz writes, "the quake seemed to last more than two minutes in santiago. buildings seemed to resist the quake very well. communications are very difficult and there is no power in most parts of the city." nicholas writing in, "it was tremendous. the buildings were literally dancing in the air. i'm worried about the people who live near concepcion because their communications are broken down. thank god we are prepared for any disaster of that type. also former "american idol" finalist elliot yami described the fear, "complete and utter chaos on the streets. no power. my heart is beating out of my chest. tsunami warning. i'm only a mile inland. i swear, i thought this was the end of my life. also from hawaii, a viewer tweeted me earlier saying, "we are on alert around 11:00 a.m.
here for a tsunami to hit." if you have any news, thoughts or questions, you can find me on twitter at brown christina. lots of people out there using the web to communicate and talk about what they are seeing and feeling. also letting people know what the situation is like where they are. >> christina brown, thank you for that. you can tweet me. i'm at alex witt. he am joined by jennifer rhodes. good morning to you. let's weigh in on what we think might be coming hawaii's way. i'm told in about 45 minutes or so people will awaken there to the sound of tsunami warning sirens. talk about what lies ahead. >> good morning. noaa has issued a tsunami warning for the majority of the pacific basin including hawaii.
this is very serious. as a tsunami with significant inundations expected in these areas. people should move away from the beach and higher grounds until deemed safe to return to these areas. in hawaii we are expecting arrival time around 11:00 a.m. pacific time. people in those areas should begin to move to higher ground and respond to the local authority's direction and stay put until local authorities say it's safe to return to these areas. >> jennifer, give me your best estimated estimate of what hawaii faces here. the velocity which it is traveling across the pacific, the depths of this wave, couple all that death, what do you think we are looking at? >> we are looking at probably a tsunami that could be around 2
to 3 meters. we are still working on our forecast for those areas, and we would have a more specific update in the next 30 minutes on any type of impact we are expecting for the area. >> give me an estimate of what 2 to 3 meters of a tsunami would look like in terms of flooding, in terms of how long it would last because we know now tsunamis are not just one big wave but rather could be a series of waves that keep battering along the shore. >> yes. that is a very good point. we are talking about 6 to 8 feet of inudations in some areas. we are expecting our forecast to come in with updated information. it is key for people to realize tsunamis are a series of waves. the first wave may not be the largest and the threat can continue for many hours. this is why it's imperative
people stay tuned to instructions from the local officials and noaa national weather service for updates. we'll be working on this all day. as our information comes in, we'll provide the latest information to our partners in emergency management, the media and the public. >> jennifer, thank you for that. before you go, as i understand it, it's been described to me earlier, the first in the series of waves of a tsunami can break on the sand. then it pulls back just as a normal wave does. we are all familiar with that along the shore, but in doing so it can reveal part of the ocean floor that is not normally seen, and it can take a significant period of time until more water comes back to replace it. that's what you have concerns about. people that will go down to the beach front and think, my goodness, this is so unique and we'll look at the bottom of the beach there that we don't
usually see, and that's where danger can set in? >> absolutely. people really curious about the sea floor being exposed and what it looks like, but it's key they move to higher ground, to not go out into those locations to see what a tsunami looks like. it is a very dangerous situation. the water will come back very quickly and at very high elevations. when this occurs, they need to move to higher ground. in fact, they need to start paying attention to what local authorities are telling this nome to move off the beach. >> jennifer rhoades, thank you very much for the heads-up. >> thank you. >> we'll have more on the damage of chile and tsunami warning in effect for hawaii.
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25 past the hour. we are looking at the latest pictures coming in here at msnbc headquarters from the destruction of the chile 8.8 earthquake. earlier this morning 3:30 in the morning local time. you see buildings that literally are toppling on to themselves. they are swaying and don't look like complete devastation in terms of crumbling, but you can bet they are disaster areas. >> let's get to mike at the white house. >> reporter: robert gives says we are closely monitoring the situation, including potential for its tsunami. our thoughts and prayers are with the people of chile and we stand ready to help in this hour of need. the president and first lady are out and about today attending a recreational activity in chevy chase, maryland, watching their daughter play basketball. they are not in the white house right now. this statement coming from the
press secretary. obviously concern here expressed for the people of chile, but people in the 50th state, the president's home state of hawaii, as they prepare to hear those alarms sound in the coming hour. i spoke with my brother who lives on the beach of the north shore. it's dark there, early in the morning. they have yet to hear that siren. >> in essence, you are the reporter that broke the news to your brother about what's happening. >> right. >> your brother on the north shore of hawaii, he will hear those sirens. has he heard them before? >> no. he's been out there since the early '80s. they never experienced anything like a catastrophic tsunami. he just spoke about hilo to be the most vulnerable place in the
hawaiian islands for the tsunami they are talking about subsequent to this 8.8 earthquake in chile. >> what was your brother's reaction? was he legitimately nervous and afraid? >> he has spoken with people out there that had a couple of warnings in the past. at one point he was up on the rim of diamond head if you're familiar with honolulu and the beach. there is a road that runs midway up diamond head. the expert said those people there on that road looking for a tsunami, if this were really a tsunami they would be wiped out. they were 100 feet above the beach there. it is nothing to be taken lightly, that's for certain. >> you are a good brother. thank you for the report from the white house. nbc's mike viqueira. we'll get more from the damage out of chile. [ male announcer ] mix it.
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at least 82 people are dead. the quake collapsed several pildings and set off a tsunami. this massive quake hit southwest of the capital santiago. the epicenter was several miles from concepcion. it is across the region. an advisory has been issued for the coast of california and coastal areas of alaska. i want to point out not for the area of british columbia and vancouver where the winter olympic games are winding down. want to let them know at this point vancouver is along the coast. join me live now from florida, maria arias. what are you reporting there? >> we have the latest information from local chilean media and number of casualties is going up, over 100. that number is supposed to go up as the day progresses.
part of the problem right now is hard to assess. the real dimension of the catastrophe. many roads are completely damaged or severely damaged. we have a report that a major north-south bridge that connects that whole area has been collapsed. that makes it very difficult the rescue efforts. we have also reports that near concepcion the largest city near chile, a university town, building, a 15-floor building has collapsed. only three floors remain standing. we have information people are trapped inside, that screams can be heard within the rubble. they have people manually trying to help the victims. at this time, president bachelet declared a state of catastrophe for the central region of the country. we are following this as everybody is. this has been the strongest earthquake in chile in 50 years. chile is earthquake land. they are used to this since
movements have been recorded since the time of the spaniards. every 10 to 13 years they register earthquakes. they have had 13 earthquakes the size of the strength of the haiti earthquake january 12th had, which is 7.0. the one we experienced today is 8.8, which is literally 700 times stronger than the one in haiti over two months ago. we know that this is so because it works. this situation with the earthquakes, the chilean people are trained to act and they have actually specific instructions they know what to do in a case like this one. hopefully things won't be as bad
as they would have bed if this happened in another area of the world. >> i want to talk about, you mentioned this bridge that collapsed. we are seeing video that is extraordinary. it is a highly elevated bridge. there are a couple we have seen evidence of, one was a regular highway bridge overpass that seemed to be in downtown concepcion. however, this one you talk about is more in the further outlying regions. do you know the areas that are connected? is this between concepcion and santiago? do you know? >> that is the report we are getting. this represents many, many problems because again the rescue teams cannot move accordingly as they would like to. this represents a major problem in terms of communications. >> it absolutely does. are you familiar with the old part of the town of santiago, the capital there, which i understand by an i witness
reporter, appears to be hugely affected, literally flattened. it's about a five-block area. >> i have been to santiago. i don't know the stent of the damage. reports are there is even more damage. we know for a fact this is a situation of complete confusion. there's a lot of universities, four universities in conception-on. there are a lot of students there, american students go to concepcion. we are getting reports by skip many are going on the internet to let their families know they are okay. it will be a while before we know the damages and dimension and amount of casualties, for sure. >> a very good point you make. we have heard from twitter people are trying to send their messages to loved ones and let them know the assessment of the situation there. we thank you for your assessment
there. >> thank you. joining me on the phone is a structural engineer who spent some time in chile. he also visited haiti after the quake there last month. good morning to you. >> good morning. >> first i want to get your assessment there of things in chile. we have remarkable pictures coming into us of a very highly elevated bridge that literally collapsed. it looks to be connecting two parts of ground over a ravine or river. it looks like it has completely collapsed. we believe because of our last reporter, that is an area between concepcion and santiago which will make a lot of trouble for relief efforts there. talk about the infrastructure and how strong it has been, especially since the wake of the 1960 quake. >> well, the infrastructures like bridges, for example, tends to behave a little bit differently than buildings that
are one or two stories high. they tune into a different motion of the earthquakes. if this was a earthquake of some duration such as 30, 40 seconds, i don't know, maybe a minute, bridges would certainly be affected. bridges generally cross rivers with weak soils. that would amplify the ground motions, as well. >> that fully explains why we are seeing these dramatic pictures. it looks to be one tall spire, a tower of concrete supporting this bridge standing alone literally. everything standing between one tower and the next has fallen into this river/ravine area. take what you know about this and apply that to the cities that are more heavily populated. we saw some highways that seem to have collapsed upon themselves, certainly not at this altitude.
the roadways there, should they be traveled at all? >> i cannot comment on the picture because i'm not looking at your live feed right now, but certainly bridges need to be inspe inspected for how the supports under them performed during this event. >> this was an 8.8 magnitude quake. we mentioned you had been to haiti which had a 7.0 last month on the 12th. the kind of damage we are seeing here though, this is extensive. at least in the more densely populated cities, it doesn't seem to be flattened. when we compare what we saw at haiti is a 7.0 and this exponentially gets more difficult to explain in santiago or concepcion, what is the difference in terms of what you saw in haiti and what we are seeing here? >> there are two points on this one. in haiti, we did not have building codes that were
addressing the earthquake hazard, number one. and number two, the quality of construction, the materials was not there. for those buildings we've seen flattened in haiti, i would not expect that to be the same case in chile, which has had building codes that recognized seismic risk for some time. now, the second point is that chile is located along what we call this zone that can cause earthquakes such as this morning. this is a relevant event for similar areas such as the pacific northwest in the u.s., offshore british columbia, areas near tokyo, for example. we have zones that can generate very large earthquakes with long duration strong ground shaking. >> mark, since you were recently
there in chile as structural engineer, whether you were there for business or pleasure, are there building codes similar to those we have here in the united states? or given they survived that 9.5 quake and went on to rebuild, are they better codes there than we have here? >> the engineering community worldwide collaborates on these issues. their building codes are, for modern construction, i would consider on par with modern provisions. i think the issue will be with structures that predate modern building codes because there is not a require to retrofit buildings that may be vulnerable or structures that may be vulnerable. >> mark, thank you very much for weighing in here. structural engineer who spent some time in chile. thank you, mark. >> thank you very much.
>> we are staying with our coverage of the devastation there in chile as a result of that 8.8 earthquake that hit in the wee hours of the morning. it's been about nine hours or so since that earthquake hit. daylight bringing these significant pictures to us. we have other news to cover, including the record snowfall here in the northeast. take a look right now at stanford, new york, in the catskills. [ female announcer ] ahh, the book of truth.
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this quake destroyed roads and made it impossible for cars to get through. we saw spectacular pictures of a high overpass bridge which has literally collapsed between the tall towers that hold that roadway up high above the river in that ravine. several areas have no electricity or water. tsunami warnings are across asia, australia and new zealand. we are told hawaii and alaska and the u.s. west coast is on alert for a tsunami. let's get more on the tsunami warning. we go to nbc meteorologist ginger zee. >> a tsunami warning or any warning from the national weather service, warning means imminent and means it's happening. that is what's happening in hawaii. they have a warning a tsunami is imminent. we go to the coast talking about california, that's where you see more advisories. not that it can't be dangerous,
but not as much. people with loved ones in hawaii, maybe something to make them aware. the earthquake was over an 8.0. it was a great earthquake. it was a huge earthquake. they felt tremors up to 6.9. a lot of times you hear these numbers and you don't know what that means. this is a nice graphic to give you an idea, even at 6.9, still destruction can happen within 100 kilometers. overall what happens after the earthquake, the actual earth moves. you shift the earth and you get this separation. once that happens, it sends energy up into the ocean. the energy is going up. you wouldn't see a wave right away. it would transfer energy. once it hits the coast, you get the incline up to the beach, once it hits that, that's where you get the energy that rises up and crashes down. >> wave can increase with its size at that point. >> correct. >> and with that energy, it doesn't stop with one wave that
crashes to shore. that is so important. it can extend for quite some period of distance, right? >> right. when you see an earthquake and it looks like those things, that can happen. like when you throw a pebble into the water, that energy is rippling. while the outside, things farther away are not going to feel it as much, it the's still going to be felt. >> ginger zee, thank you very much. we'll go to london where nbc's michelle koz instant ki is stand buying with the latest. >> we are just getting new information re hawaii, which is still under tsunami warning. the faa is reporting that the airport in hilo will be closed for the next few hours. honolulu's airport will stay open. they are monitoring what these wave heights will be. it is difficult to predict. we know that the technology that monitors and tracks tsunamis is
there. it only goes so far. being able to give people the warning for what exactly is expected. luckily people living along the ring of fire throughout the pacific have had hours and hours of warning. time to prepare. we know some evacuations have already been in effect. easter island was one of the first to experience that. people heading for higher ground. there are places where people are heading up to higher floors within hotels on tourist islands. people are able to prepare. what we don't know is exactly how high the water will get in some of these areas. when you look back to the earthquake in haiti a month ago, that triggered a tsunami, but it wasn't talked about because the ultimate heights above sea level, the peaks of the waves only reached about 1 centimeter in most places. i think the highest was in santo domingo. even with a powerful earthquake you don't always get high waves. it depends on so many things as
we've been talking about all morning, including where the epicenter is. >> that's right. of course, again, in no small part to that is 7.0 versus 8.0. just that alone would suggest a smaller triggering in terms of size, right? >> right, exactly. speaking of those numbers, it's remarkable when you think of the loss of life and devastation in haiti, that was a 7.0 magnitude quake. the country of chile has experienced 13 earthquakes of 7.0 magnitude or greater in the last 35 years. they are extremely used to these phenomena and they have taken pains to build their buildings strong enough to handle many of them, at least. this is the biggest one they experienced in 50 years though. right now the assessment is going on to see what exactly they are going to have to deal with. the president-elect just did an interview from chile. he talked about chile being a country of devastation at times.
that they have been prepared in the past and they would deal with this as best they could. the pictures we are seeing are extreme in some cases, but we have to keep reminding people that we are only seeing concepcion and santiago, both which were far away from the epicenter. there are more areas unassessed at this point. >> michelle kosinksi in london, thank you for that. we are keeping our eyes trained on this story. there is other news, as well. after the break, more on the northeast digging out. [ telephone rings ] pepto-bismol. nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, and diarrhea. my son's got all that and he's on his first date. well, when he feels the instacool sensation, he'll know that pepto's about to kick in. honey, do you feel... the instacool sensation -- yes, mom. thank you, mrs. wagner. [ male announcer ] new pepto-bismol chewables with instacool. somewhere in america... the slightest breeze harbors immense power. the tallest buildings leave the lightest footprints.
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who are urging hawaiian residents to remain calm, listen to the news and follow evacuation orders after this 8.8 magnitude earthquake off the coast of chile generated a tsunami that is expected to affect all coastlines in the hawaiian islands. "we have not had voluntary tsunami evacuations in hawaii since 1994. this is a serious event. if you live in an evacuation zone, i urge to you gather your family and please leave the area. it is important to remain calm, listen to the news and follow instructions issued by the state and county civil defense officials." they have not experienced a major tsunami in hawaii in the past generation. this will be a unique experience for many who live there. we are going to stay with this as we listen to the hawaiian islands and that siren ready to
sound in about five minutes or so. with the other news, the snowstorm. the flight schedules are back on track today, we hope, following that massive winter blizzard that brought hurricane winds to the northeast forcing a cancellation of 1,000 flights on friday. faa is reporting delays of 15 minutes or less at major airports. in monroe, knock, residents are waist-deep in 31 inches of snow. as of right now, 600,000 homes and businesses are still without power. let's get more on the storm from ginger zee. >> good morning to you. you want to say this storm and it's still here? yeah, it's here still sitting over the tri-state area and upstate new york and other places getting snow showers. you will see bands of snow filtered through, but not going to drop a whole lot in the way of snow totals. you don't need anymore. airport delays showing up green. this is a new picture, very novel. we haven't seen this in a couple
of days. that doesn't mean your carrier isn't backed up. call before. another problem spot, a tsunami advisory in effect for the whole pacific coast here, california included, as if they don't have enough, they have rain showers that will bring inches of rain and potential for mud slides today. if i tried to think of a day with so much weather going on, this is it. from coast to coast and now the earthquake and tsunami warnings. it's a big day. >> and we are glad you're here. ginger zee, thank you so much. weather channel meteorologist mike seidel is in the catskills mountains in new york where there has been a ton of snow there, good morning. >> good morning, alex. the snow showers continue. we got hit by two storms. one back on monday night and tuesday. two feet there and two more feet the past couple of days. a few more inches. in these towns where you have a lot of snow, for safety purposes in the winter, see this red and white stick here? that denotes a fire plug, a fire
hydrant. if there is a fire, an emergency, they know where the fire hydrant is. it's down there under about six feet of snow. you can see how high the snow is. i can get up to the top of this sign. these communities in the catskills have been digging out. fortunately, the worst is over with. now we wait for the big meltdown and hopefully it doesn't come too fast and we have problems with flooding or river flooding. >> about the biggest problems right now would be putting together a good snowman. mike seidel, thank you. coming up for you, more on the damage out of chile following the massive earthquake there. the latest on that, plus the tsunami warning in effect for hawaii. [ male announcer ] prilosec otc.